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Improving school security in Winston-Salem

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --- The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School board is considering immediately adding electronic access control systems to all elementary schools. 

It is also weighing other security options for all schools including increased cameras, more school resource officers, fencing and additional door locks.

Over the past few weeks, the system's operations department has been working with law enforcement in Kernersville, Winston-Salem and Forsyth County to assess ways to improve security at all schools. Tuesday the school board will begin looking at all the options and the costs.

Darrell Walker, Assistant Superintendent for Operations says they are asking questions like, "what is the realistic number of S.R.O.'s,  how many kids can one officer really manage." 

Walker says adding a school resource officer at every elementary school would cost $3.5 million.  Adding access control systems to every school in the county would cost $1.2 million dollars.

All suggestions with hefty price tags that could cost taxpayers.

"Obviously that is a challenge. I think it would force us to do is go back and talk to officials at county level or reallocate some capital funds set aside to repair buildings," says Walker.

Parent Bill Davis says he's ok with paying more," for my kids safety they ain't no price. If it would mean me paying more or money to school to have that extra sense of security for myself and for my child then that's what I'll do."

The school board is expected to make a decision on adding access control to elementary schools immediately. The other suggestions are long term ideas.

Once the board decides what it's in favor of those will likely be part of the upcoming budget sessions.